While on vacation, there’s usually potential for nonstop entertainment, whether it be in the form of outdoor sports and adventure, shopping, eating or urban exploration. But sometimes the best way to fully appreciate a place is by setting aside some time in your agenda for contemplation. Here are five of the best hotels to stop, stretch, breathe and indulge the yogi inside of you (or perhaps the one waiting to emerge).
The Betsy — South Beach
Guests of this Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Miami Beach charmer can look forward to multiple venues for relaxation. In addition to the breezy, beach-bright luxury rooms, there’s a Wellness Garden & Spa with private cabanas, and a rooftop deck with sweeping views of the Atlantic. You can just imagine the breathtaking vistas for sunrise yoga classes on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. The Vinyasa flow classes, taught by teachers from 3rd Street Beach Yoga, are free to guests and come with yoga mats and blocks as requested. Relax afterward to the sound of the tide with an Inner-Wellbeing massage, which uses crystals and botanical-rich oils to open all seven chakras for complete balance and release. Yogis should also mark their calendars when the 2015 Celebrate Your Soul (on Solstice) dates are announced. The annual event features daily yoga, meditation and bodywork on the deck, as well as a variety of inspired workshops and spiritual seminars.
Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa
This Five-Star hotel is located on 45 acres of lush gardens, nature trails and olive groves in San Diego. Wellness was the focus of a $30-million renovation in 2011, which led to an expansion of the spa and fitness center and the addition of a 1,000-square-foot Serenity Yoga Pavilion. The pavilion’s dark wooden deck, which looks out over a reflecting pool, is host to numerous fitness and wellness classes, which are complimentary for resort guests and come with a fresh-pressed juice or protein shake at the conclusion of a session. Each month brings a new yoga workshop focusing on a different topic that’s led by yoga program director Anna Spalding. The resort also hosts wellness retreats throughout the year, which combine yoga and oceanside hikes with organic, healing foods. In addition to its menu of plant-based spa services like the Balancing Blue Lotus Facial, Rancho Valencia also offers fitness packages, which start with a customized 60-minute-training session incorporating TRX, spin, yoga and/or boxing, followed by a 20-minute muscle and joint bath soak, and a 60-minute massage of your choice.
Auberge du Soleil
Napa Valley’s Auberge du Soleil really lived up to its philosophy (“Pleasure is healing”) when the Five-Star hotel built the Auberge Spa. Originally replicated after a centuries-old monastery, the spa features fountains, three springs overlooking vineyards and olive groves, an outdoor sculpture garden, soaking pools and more. The La Plage area boasts a lush outdoor pool and living room meant for lounging on canopied daybeds. La Pagode was built in the mold of a ryokan (a Japanese inn). The breezy, open air space is suspended over a creek, making it the perfect tree house getaway for everything from outdoor massages and special events to movement classes. Auberge du Soleil offers qigong, Pilates, and beginning and advanced yoga in the peaceful space. The perfect follow-up to a class is a balancing signature treatment such as the Auberge Attunement, which uses essential oils on pressure points, stretching techniques and hot and cold stones. Or, since you’re already in Napa, you can take advantage of the Vineyard Déjà Vu, a grapeseed scrub that’s followed by a grapeseed oil massage. End the relaxing treatment with a glass of local cabernet.
Four Seasons Hotel Toronto
With its sleek blue glass exterior gleaming against the city skyline, this 55-story gem can’t be missed. The imposing Five-Star property also happens to be a yogi mecca thanks to its partnership with 889 Yoga, a sanctuary located inside the 30,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art spa. While the studio is open to the public, overnight guests may pre-purchase a pass or drop in on any class (for a fee), borrowing mats and yoga props if needed. Classes range from therapeutic restorative yoga to faster-paced flow yoga and meditative yin yoga. Private sessions can be arranged as well. After you (literally) unwind, enjoy a cool glass of fruit-infused water while detoxing in the steam room — or treat yourself to one of the diverse spa treatments, such as The Cultural Mosaic of Canada, which begins with a foot bath ritual and an Indian head massage before it moves into an Asian fusion body massage, which incorporates Thai and Balinese techniques.
Belmond La Samanna
Cuddled on the dreamy white sands of St. Martin, at the edge of the jewel-toned Caribbean Sea, this 83-room pearl is a breath of fresh air in and of itself. Pair the stunning location with twice-a-week yoga led by the resort’s resident instructor in the Rendezvous Pavilion, and you’ve got your own tranquil corner of the tropics. Take your Zen to its zenith by following up your session with a purifying Chinese Moxa massage before sipping on a rum-and-guava cocktail at the beach bar.